Smithtown is a historically African American community founded in 1867, just after the Civil War, in Lexington, Ky in the area between North Broadway and West Fourth, Jefferson and West Sixth Streets. The Smithtown community has endured for over 100 years with residents, past and present, gathering for Smithtown Day every first Saturday in August at the nearby Coolavin Park. Newspaper articles from the Lexington Herald Leader mention the history of this community that includes an African American school located in the old St. Peter Claver Catholic Church on Jefferson St, a community center house on West Fifth Street, and a baseball team called the Smithtown Reds that competed with various leagues in the area. Los Angeles Dodgers First Base Coach John Shelby lived in Smithtown and was honored in 1999 during Smithtown Day for his accomplishments.
Recent decades have seen neighborhood businesses such as a beauty salon and discount bakery store come and go, but the feel of community has endured. Community residents could be counted on to keep a watchful eye on the community throughout its history. Influx of business and changes brought by new developers and contractors have brought many changes to Smithtown, but the history of this tight-knit African American community will always live on in the hearts of residents both past and present.